market-farming digest: July 18, 2002

lfl at lfl at
Sun Jul 28 16:39:29 EDT 2002

Miranda Smith wrote:
> Mike,
>     Yes, kelp, nettle tea, and fish emulsion are fine for nutrients.
> But none of them has the disease-suppressive qualities of compost tea.
> If you are doing ornamentals where powdery mildew on a leaf is
> unmarketable or greenhouse-grown seedless cukes that are super
> susceptible to any spore that happens by, compost tea is an important
> component of your management program. I'm unhappy that it seems to be
> regulated out of the system.
> Secondly, I'm curious what you would use as a calcium source for a
> liquid nutrient solution?

Pulverized shell meal from Florida, sold as "feed lime" for livestock;
sometimes high calcium limestone from Tennessee is used though I would 
try the shell meal with compost tea. If left in the compost tea tank 
between batches it might release appreciable amounts of calcium without 
radically altering pH. Ground eggshells from poultry hatcheries are 
often added to compost mixes.
The Blount Company in Bethel NC carries the shell meal in 50# bags - a 
call to them might provide other sources around the US.

How are nettles grown and where are seeds available.

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